Asthma camp in full swing this week at Camp Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Asthma camp in full swing this week at Camp Tyler

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

A special summer camp in East Texas is teaching children with asthma how to manage their disease while still having fun.

It looks like any traditional summer camp, but the campers at Camp Tyler are learning an important life lesson: that they don't have to be crippled by their asthma.

"My triggers are grass, trees, horses and leaves. When I get around them, I start itching and my chest gets real tight," says 10-year-old Chrislyn Goss.

Chrislyn is surrounded by almost all of those triggers, or things that make her asthma worse. But, thanks to the UT Health Science Center at Tyler and the Texas Chest Foundation, Chrislyn is learning how to handle her asthma for the third year in a row.

"I love it here. The counselors are great and I love doing swimming and archery with all of my friends and you meet new people," says 14-year-old Brittany Amie.

Brittany says she has attended asthma camp six or seven times. This year will be her last time because next year she'll be too old. But, Brittany says she'll always carry what she learned with her.

"What we know is that kids who come to an asthma camp like this, they have fewer days missed from school, they show up to the doctor's office with less asthma attacks, the number of times they have to go to the emergency room or the hospital is less, and their actual medication costs are lowered because they don't get as sick and they stay in better control of their asthma," says Dr. Jim Stocks, the camp's medical director.

With a 24-hour on-site clinic, Dr. Stocks says, for a lot of kids and their parents, asthma camp is the first time everyone feels comfortable about going away for an entire week of camp.

The camp is sponsored by the UT Health Science Center at Tyler and the Texas Chest Foundation. Though camp is expensive, but scholarships and fundraisers are available. Organizers say they have never turned down a child because they couldn't afford camp.

Information about registering for next year's asthma camp can be found HERE.

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